On Hobbies, Clubs, and Commitment 

This weekend, our park hosted lots of guests from a car club’s Vintage Bike Rally. It was great for us, because they stayed all weekend, so we had minimal cleaning and laundry. And also because we met some great people, and had some cool bikes roaring around.

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And, although the weather wasn’t the best, it was also great for them, because they got to see old friends and meet new people, they got to see a new area of the country, and they got to spend a weekend doing something they love with other people who love it too.

And I just kept thinking how cool that is.

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It has really made me want a hobby. A real, proper hobby.  (Not vintage bike restoration, though!)

I have hobbies, I guess, in that there are lots of things I like to do, and I usually try to make time to do them. I think there are two problems, though:

  1. is that I have TOO MANY hobbies. I want to do everything, and I never manage to commit to one thing.
  2. is that because I never commit, they all remain individual.

So, it’s not so much that I need a hobby. It’s that I need a club. I’m in Facebook groups for a couple of things. I have friends who do a couple of others. But mostly I just do things by myself, and never really feel “good enough” or “interested enough” to take any of them to the next level. So they’re fun, but none really give that sense of community.

The closest I’ve come is being in choirs for most of my life. Last year was one of the first ever that I haven’t sung in a Christmas concert, and I definitely noticed the absence.  I LOVE choral singing, and I miss my choirs so much. But I’ve never really lived in one place long enough to really get properly involved. I’ve met great people, and sung great music, but I’ve always had to move on as we’ve moved away. I’ve got my eyes on a choir for a Christmas concert this year, but apparently it’s pretty popular, so I’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.

And because I don’t want to put all my eggs in that one choir-basket, I’m going to start looking around for some other options too.

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This weekend has also had me thinking about the generational gap in joining clubs. I’m not saying everyone there was old… but I am also not exaggerating when I say that were I to go to that particular event, I’d be the youngest by a good twenty years. And in many of the choirs and clubs I’ve been in over the years, it’s been similar.

So why don’t 30-somethings join clubs? Has it always been this way – only the older generations have time for clubs? Or is it more of a Boomers/Millenials difference? Are we all too busy with work and/or families? Will it change when I have a school kid? Have we all found “our people” on the internet instead? Or am I just missing out by not being sporty? Have I lived in the wrong places, or am I just too uncool to know about the right clubs? Are we all like me – too thinly spread and unable to commit to one hobby?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I suspect it’s a bit of a mix of all of the above. And also that there are lots of different factors that contribute to each individual’s decisions. And also that people in different situations to me DO join clubs of various sorts (thus making my original question invalid).

But the specific question/answers don’t entirely matter, because even if 30-somethings don’t join clubs (and I know that plenty probably do), I want to. And I’m going to make it my mission to find a club in rural-village-New Zealand that is a) active, b) fits around my schedule, and c) is something I’m interested in and where I might find a group of “my people”.  I think I’m probably on a losing mission here, but it’s worth a try.

Does anyone have ideas on where to start? (again, definitely not vintage motorcycles, and definitely definitely not “Axe and Gun Club”, which is the only option that comes up for my location on Google 😳😳😳)

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